Central American and Mexican entrepreneurs support efforts of MIRPS countries in response to forced displacement
Business leaders and private sector groups expressed a strong commitment to support the search for sustainable and durable solutions for forcibly displaced people in Central America and Mexico during a MIRPS Business Roundtable on April 27.
At the event, entrepreneurs gave concrete examples of the many ways in which they contribute to responses to forced displacement in the countries participating in the Regional Framework for Protection and Solutions (MIRPS), which includes six Central American countries and Mexico.
The entrepreneurs also shared their views on the opportunities and benefits of incorporating forcibly displaced persons into their activities.
“Let's take advantage of the talent that exists among refugees,” said Ignacio Casillas, General Director for Central America and the Caribbean of ManpowerGroup. “It's not just a social issue, it's also an economic and profitability issue.”
“A diverse workforce will always bring us different perspectives. If we take advantage of that talent, then we will really be able to get the best out of people, and when we get the best out of people, there is obviously growth and richness in that,” Anabel Olivas, Inclusion and Diversity Coordinator at Femsa, Mexico.
Caroline Mata, Human Resources Director at Western Union in Costa Rica, proposed that the private sector work with governments to respond to forced displacement. “[We need to] create spaces for companies to work together, listen to people in displacement situations, understand what is really needed and share best practices with the public sector,” she said.
The participation of the private sector is essential for addressing the root causes of violence and forced displacement, seeking to create conditions for inclusive development and sustainable business models that allow populations to settle so that they can develop their life projects in their respective countries, but also offer returnees opportunities to prosper.
“We want more companies to see how competitive, profitable and humane the inclusion of displaced persons and returnees is,” said Juan Pablo Morataya, Executive Director of Centrarse Guatemala, who highlighted the importance of developing a culture of hospitality, integration and respect of human rights for victims of forced displacement, refugees and asylum seekers.
In Central America and Mexico, forced displacement affects more than one million people and continues to increase. Countries in the region share responsibility for addressing forced displacement through collective action under the MIRPS framework, which includes Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico and Panama. These efforts are supported by partners from the international community that form the MIRPS Support Platform, development actors and the private sector.
The virtual event was jointly organized by the Organization of American States (OAS) and UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, as the joint Technical Secretariat of the MIRPS. The Pro-tempore Presidency of the MIRPS is currently held by the Government of Guatemala and the MIRPS Support Platform is chaired by the Government of Spain. The event was moderated by Ragnhild “Randy” Melzi, Vice President of the Public Policy and Corporate Relations Program of the Americas Society/Council of the Americas.
For more information:
- In Mexico: Sibylla Brodzinsky [email protected] + 52 5580485054